Four Tips for Happy Holidays with Pets

The holiday season is a wonderful time to spend with your family, friends and pets. But there are many things during the holidays that can be harmful to your pet. Here are a few tips from Vaughan Animal Services to help you pet proof your home for a safe and happy holiday season.

Happy Holidays Pets


Certain holiday items are harmful or even poisonous to pets. Some of these include poinsettias, Christmas cactus, lilies, holly berries, mistletoe and pine needles. Tinsel and ornaments can also be dangerous if ingested. Cats see tinsel as toys, so avoid using it to decorate. Place candles in a safe place and never leave pets unattended with an open flame.


It’s never a good idea to feed table scraps to pets, but holiday treats can be especially dangerous for them. Avoid feeding pets anything with fatty meats, fruit (especially grapes, raisins and currants) and alcohol. Chocolate is particularly harmful, so beware of chocolate goodies wrapped under the tree.


The holidays can be stressful for pets because it disrupts their daily routine. Always supervise your pets with unknown visitors, especially children, and watch to make sure pets don’t escape while guests are arriving or leaving. It may be best to place pets in a quiet area until your guests are gone.


Pets don’t like the cold weather either, so never leave them unattended in a car or outside for long periods of time. It’s best to keep your cats indoors where they are safest and your dogs on a leash when walking them. Road and sidewalk salt can irritate the pads on your pet’s feet so be sure to wash or wipe off their feet after walks. Cats and wildlife gravitate to warm engines during cold weather. Be sure to bang your hood or honk your horn before starting your engine to avoid injuring an animal.

With a little extra effort, you can have a safe and happy holiday with your pets. And don’t forget that dog and cat licences expire each year in Vaughan on Jan. 1. Be sure to renew the licence before then. Licensing makes it easy to identify and reunite lost pets with owners. For more information on licensing and Vaughan Animal Services, visit




Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at

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